Coping with Grief at Christmas

Coping with Grief at Christmas

Coping with Grief at Christmas

During the festive season, it is not unusual to feel increased sadness when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. It is during major festivals that people get together and being with family and friends is a part of the celebration. As a result, when you have lost someone, the loss is accentuated during this period.  It is not unusual to feel sad at this time and allowing yourself to feel the grief is a part of the healing process.

Change your Thinking

However you can also engage in other ways to help you cope. By doing this you will be helping yourself, those around you and the family & friends who are trying to help you cope.  It may be difficult for you to celebrate while missing a person you loved dearly. Indeed, you may feel guilty as you believe it is not correct for you to be happy at this time.  However, that may not be the correct way to think: being happy does not mean you miss a person less. Of course you miss them terribly but that does not preclude you from enjoying, for example, a Christmas celebration with other family members or friends. Getting together with family and friends may be the perfect time to remember the good times and to laugh as you recall happy memories of the one you have lost.

Other things to do that might help:

  • Spend some time reflecting on the happy times you had together.
  • Visit a favourite place that you enjoyed going to.
  • Talk about these happy times with other people.
  • Look at photographs and remember the person with love and joy.
  • Write a letter to the person, letting them know how you feel.

Do not Deny What you are Feeling

The main thing is that you do not deny how you are feeling. Just accept the feelings and emotions that may be causing you the increased feelings of sadness. If you need to cry, then cry. If you find yourself laughing then laugh.  Just give yourself permission to grieve the way that suits you best.  Your family and friends will understand and so will the one you mourn. In fact if you could ask them, they would encourage you. Grief is not something that can be set aside to suit the time of year.  It is real and you have to allow yourself to experience it, in whatever way suits you.  If that means you find yourself celebrating with family and friends and enjoying the festive period as you celebrate and remember the great times past, then go for it.  It may also result in you crying at times, then that is acceptable as well. 

Remember, other people will understand the pain you are dealing with and will be there to support you. Don’t turn away – take their helping hand and allow yourself to be a part of the celebration in the way that suits you best.  People that love and care for you will understand and help during this  time of year.

Halo Effect and Social Psychology

Halo Effect and Social Psychology

What is Halo Effect and Social Psychology

The Halo effect & social psychology within psychological processes is an interesting phenomena. It is based on the fact that the global evaluation about a person is interlinked with judgment about specific traits that the person displays. We all succumb to the halo effect in that we often see a person who is very friendly and pleasant to look at so we will judge them as being trustworthy and kind.

Below is an article about the Halo Effect which was written by Dr Jeremy Dean for PsyBlog. PsyBlog was created by Dr Jeremy Dean to help bring psychological issues to the general public. The articles are written simply and clearly for the understanding of al. The original article was called ‘Antibiotic-associated encephalopathy’ but thanks to the website PsyBlog the original article has been written in more easy to understand language. Halo Effect & Social Psychology

The Halo Effect: When Your Own Mind is a Mystery

The idea that global evaluations about a person bleed over into judgements about their specific traits.

The ‘halo effect’ is a classic finding in social psychology. It is the idea that global evaluations about a person (e.g. she is likeable) bleed over into judgements about their specific traits (e.g. she is intelligent). Hollywood stars demonstrate the halo effect perfectly. Because they are often attractive and likeable we naturally assume they are also intelligent, friendly, display good judgement and so on. That is, until we come across (sometimes plentiful) evidence to the contrary.

In the same way politicians use the ‘halo effect’ to their advantage by trying to appear warm and friendly, while saying little of any substance. People tend to believe their policies are good, because the person appears good. It’s that simple.

But you would think we could pick up these sorts of mistaken judgements by simply introspecting and, in a manner of speaking, retrace our thought processes back to the original mistake. In the 1970s, well-known social psychologist Richard Nisbett set out to demonstrate how little access we actually have to our thought processes in general and to the halo effect in particular.

Likeability of lecturers

Nisbett and Wilson wanted to examine the way student participants made judgement about a lecturer (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977). Students were told the research was investigating teacher evaluations. Specifically, they were told, the experimenters were interested in whether judgement varied depending on the amount of exposure students had to a particular lecturer. This was a total lie.

In fact the students had been divided into two groups who were going to watch two different videos of the same lecturer, who happened to have a strong Belgian accent (this is relevant!). One group watched the lecturer answer a series of questions in an extremely warm and friendly manner. The second group saw exactly the same person answer exactly the questions in a cold and distant manner. Experimenters made sure it was obvious which of the lecturers alter-egos was more likeable. In one he appeared to like teaching and students and in the other he came across as a much more authoritarian figure who didn’t like teach at all.

After each group of students watched the videos they were asked to rate the lecturer on physical appearance, mannerisms and even his accent (mannerisms were kept the same across both videos). Consistent with the halo effect, students who saw the ‘warm’ incarnation of the lecturer rated him more attractive, his mannerisms more likeable and even is accent as more appealing. This was unsurprising as it backed up previous work on the halo effect.

Unconscious judgements

The surprise is that students had no clue whatsoever why they gave one lecturer higher ratings, even after they were given every chance. After the study it was suggested to them that how much they liked the lecturer might have affected their evaluations. Despite this, most said that how much they liked the lecturer from what he said had not affected their evaluation of his individual characteristics at all.

For those who had seen the badass lecturer the results were even worse – students got it the wrong way around. Some thought their ratings of his individual characteristics had actually affected their global evaluation of his likeability.

Even after this, the experimenters were not satisfied. They interviewed students again to ask them whether it was possible their global evaluation of the lecturer had affected their ratings of the lecturer’s attributes. Still, the students told them it hadn’t. They were convinced they had made their judgement about the lecturer’s physical appearance, mannerisms and accent without considering how likeable he was.

Common uses of the halo effect

The halo effect in itself is fascinating and now well-known in the business world. According to ‘Reputation Marketing‘ by John Marconi, books that have ‘Harvard Classics’ written on the front can demand twice the price of the exact same book without the Harvard endorsement. The same is true in the fashion industry. The addition of a well-known fashion designer’s name to a simple pair of jeans can inflate their price tremendously.

But what this experiment demonstrates is that although we can understand the halo effect intellectually, we often have no idea when it is actually happening. This is what makes it such a useful effect for marketers and politicians. We quite naturally make the kinds of adjustments demonstrated in this experiment without even realising it. And then, even when it’s pointed out to us, we may well still deny it.

So, the next time you vote for a politician, consider buying a pair of designer jeans or decide whether you like someone, ask yourself whether the halo effect is operating. Are you really evaluating the traits of the person or product you thought you were? Alternatively is some global aspect bleeding over into your specific judgement? This simple check could save you voting for the wrong person, wasting your money or rejecting someone who would be a loyal friend.

Or perhaps, even if you do check, you’ll still never know…Gulp.

Article Source: PsyBlog

Curated by Liz McCaughey©Copyright 2018 aMindset.HK


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Thinking is an Addiction

Thinking is an Addiction

Why Thinking is an Addiction?

Thinking is an Addiction and during Psychotherapy not thinking gives away the best clues to what is wrong. If you have ever tried to give up an addiction it would not have taken you long to appreciate that addictions are hard to overcome.  In this short video Eckhart Tolle discusses the phenomena of excessive thinking and he says quite clearly that thinking is an addiction.  A thinking addiction is a lot harder to break than smoking or drinking according to Tolle.  One of the reasons he believes this is so; thinking is part of our pseudo self. As a result many of us do not want to let go of our thoughts. During a Psychotherapy Session it is often when the client goes blank and stops thinking that the truth emerges through their unconscious or unthinking actions and words.  Thinking is an Addiction-Psychotherapy

Being in the present moment is one way to prevent the thinking addiction and Tolle discusses other ways you can stop those excessive thoughts. A short but very informative video presentation by Eckhart Tolle.

How to break the habit of excessive thinking?

How To Stop Time From Disappearing

How To Stop Time From Disappearing

How to Stop Time from Disappearing

How to stop time from disappearing is a very common most people wonder about. It is not just older people that say time is going past too fast and wonder how to stop it.  Everyone seems to think that “There is not enough time’ and most people feel the pressure at work, home or at play. Time seems to be disappearing! As time is an ever present factor in each of our lives the fact we believe it is disappearing, without our noticing it, can be quite alarming. How to Stop

How can we change this way of living so that we can be in harmony with this elusive element called time. Is there a way we can live that will help us develop a more positive attitude to time thus alleviating ourselves of stress and anxiety.  The anxiety can be as mundane as not completing a menial task or the thought that we are going to die and there is not enough time to do everything that we want to do.

Why Do We Worry about How To Stop Time From Disappearing?

The first thing is to understand that yes – you – are eventually going to die. No-one can escape the death phenomena, so accept you are going to die and appreciate that life is temporary. Don’t ponder on this in fear just accept it as a fact. And if you want to achieve your full potential prior to making that journey to heaven or hell – get off your back-side and get on with doing the things you want to do. Use time disappearing and knowing you are going to die in a positive, motivational way.

When you are lazing around knowing you are meant to be doing something else – maybe remind yourself that the Grim Reaper may be just around the corner. If you want to get that book written or a job done – do it now.  Use this attitude about dying to help you use time wisely.  Use it to motivate you to use your time to achieve what you want to achieve.

However be careful you don’t create too much pressure – always be realistic with the goals you set and the time you can spend on them.  Use your internal clock to ascertain how you want to spend your time.  Use your inner feelings to determine what is good for you and a productive way for you to use your time.  Don’t look at the clock on the wall – that is just an external distraction.  Look inside and use your time with ease.

How to stop time from disappearing? You may not make time go any slower but at least you will be aware of what you are doing with your time.  And in that awareness you will be living consciously and in control of the clock. Time will cease to disappear it will just go by.

Tick tock.

What Bullying Does

What Bullying Does

If you wonder why you allow yourself to be bullied as an adult have a look at this video of a child describing when she was bullied on the school bus.  If a child is not supported when he or she is bullied it can have devastating consequences.  The effects of the bullying are not good at the time of the event but their effects may be felt for years afterwards. This is a very poignant video that shows the lack of support that was given to a little girl from the Principal, Bus Driver and Law Enforcement Officer, These people are looked up to by all children and so their lack of help would have been all the more devastating for this child. They did not support this little girl as they discredited her words and  they make no attempt to stop the bullying.  The fact that the officer almost called her a liar by saying ‘the bus driver would not do that’ further undermines her confidence and trust.   This a very sad thing for an eight year old to go through and unless the emotional trauma is dealt with appropriately as she grows up she will forever be affected and wounded by this event. What Bullying Does

This wound will cause her all sorts of problems in her life.  Bullying can eventually lead to depression and fear, it has to be addressed and stopped at the source.  Thank goodness the mother supported her child and no doubt that will be a comfort to the little girl. Indeed, I wonder how the mum  continued to video as she must have been feeling absolutely awful. However it is great that the mum decided to do something about the bullying and the little brother, well he was quite amazing. This video of the 8-year-old girl’s giving her heartbreaking account of being bullied went viral, garnering more than 22,000 views in just a 24-hour period which demonstrates how interested people are in the subject of bullying.

We are all subjected to bullying at different levels. It can happen when shopping, walking down the street, at work and often at home.  Bullying can manifest in every avenue of life.

However, bullies can only exist if there is someone to bully and the type of person that gets bullied  tends to lack assertiveness and at an unconscious level seems to radiate fear. So when a person allows him or herself to be bullied, s/he must have some long-term fearful memory within their psyche. This memory is very fearful and as a result it does not allow them to stand up to the bully. Or, when they try to, it only takes a breath of wind for them to crumble.

If you find yourself crumbling when you try and stand up to being bullied remember this little girl and how unjust you think her treatment has been.  Then reflect on your own life and appreciate as an adult you have the tools to correct any childhood bullying you have experienced, You do that by not crumbling, instead you appreciate you are a grown-up. You re more than capable of standing up for yourself – you have a voice that will be heard. If necessary you can give back as good as you got – a bit like the little brother seems to have done.

Good luck and if you have any inspiring stories to tell – post them to our Facebook Kumara Healing Connections community and help other adults overcome their fear of bullying.